September 36.41N 002.47W

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Mon 5 Sep 2011 20:38
September is suddenly upon us. Without us realising, the summer is over and autumn has begun. The change of month has brought several other changes with it which have awoken us from our sleepy regime!
September 1st: Helen’s friend Caroline joined us in Cartagena as a crew member for the week. Now we have two teenage girls on board.  Any more and we would need a substantially bigger boat.
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September 2nd: For the first time since July we had a change of weather. No subtle change here, but dense cloud, thunder storms and lightening, torrential rain and squalls. Not quite what Caroline was hoping for for her first sea journey. We diverted to a sheltered bay for lunch to avoid the worse of the sea before continuing to Punta Parda, where we anchored over night. For the first time we needed a fleece over our swimwear.
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Squally weather and thunderstorms!                                                  Caroline and Helen shelter from the rain
September 3rd: The sun was back out but the sea quite lively and the wind on the nose. We headed for a small anchorage 9 miles north of Cabo de Gata which had no more than a brief mention in the pilot guide. It turned out to be a stunningly beautiful bay with a lovely sandy beach, clear blue and turquoise seas and a great coastal walk round the headland to the next bay. We left the girls in charge of the dinghy, to find on our return that it had been the subject of much interest to the locals on the beach. One group of small boys was particularly intrigued by it’s bounciness and capacity to be filled with sand. Helen continued in her role as retriever of objects that fall over board, becoming quite adept at jumping in after various items blow/fall into the sea. Unfortunately she was also stung by a jelly fish, but it did mean that the large sums we had expended on first aid books were finally rewarded.
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Beautiful quiet anchorage                                                                This old fort has been converted into a house!
September 4th: An early start ensured that we rounded Cabo de Gata before the wind got up and the sea became too lively. Again the wind was on the nose and the beach at Roquetas proved too rolly to stay longer than a few hours, so we had an early evening trip back into the Marina at Almerimar, returning after 8 weeks to our starting point, our sojourn into the Med over.
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Up with the sun...                                                                                 The girls occupy themselves making bread for lunch.
September 5th: The warm weather returned and we awoke to a still day with barely a breeze. There were two other boats sporting ARC flags in the marina, the ARC being the organisation that are organising the trip across the Atlantic. One left early in the morning; the other is a German boat. They are not on the same pontoon but we hope to meet the crew before we move on. The windless day was perfect for removing the mainsail for some repairs to the UV strip. In the afternoon, the girls visited the beach while we cleaned the sand out of the dinghy. Helen took her deep sea retrieval role even further as Avril dropped a necklace of Caroline’s overboard, requiring full diving gear in murky marina water for it’s return.
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Ready to dive...                                                          Success!